Canada’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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In the United States, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has received significant attention due to some recent high-profile prosecutions. Just to the North, there is the Canadian equivalent to the FCPA: the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. It has not yet been a significant concern for most businesses that fall within its jurisdiction.

But that is likely to change.

The CFPOA was passed in 1999,  in ratification of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

3.(1) Every person commits an offence who, in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business, directly or indirectly gives, offers or agrees to give or offer a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a foreign public official or to any person for the benefit of a foreign public official.

(a) as consideration for an act or omission by the official in connection with the performance of the official’s duties or functions; or

(b) to induce the official to use his or her position to influence any acts or decisions of the foreign state or public international organization for which the official performs duties or functions.

Canada has jurisdiction over the bribery of foreign public officials when the offense is committed in whole or in part in its territory. To be subject to the jurisdiction of Canadian courts, a significant portion of the activities constituting the offense must take place in Canada.

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